About Clinical Trials
A clinical trial is a health-related or biomedical research study in human beings. Clinical trials (also called medical research and research studies) are used to determine whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective. Carefully conducted clinical trials are important to find treatments and therapies for various diseases and health conditions.
Who sponsors clinical trials?
Clinical trials are sponsored or funded by a variety of organizations or individuals such as physicians, medical institutions, foundations, voluntary groups, and pharmaceutical companies, in addition to federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA). Trials can take place in a variety of locations, such as hospitals, universities, doctors' offices, or community clinics.
What are the different types of clinical trials?
Treatment trials test experimental treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy. Prevention trials look for better ways to prevent disease in people who have never had the disease or to prevent a disease from returning. These approaches may include medicines, vitamins, vaccines, minerals, or lifestyle changes. Screening trials test the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions. Quality of life trials (or supportive care trials) explore ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with a chronic illness.
What are the phases of clinical trials?
Clinical trials are conducted in phases usually numbered I - IV. The trials at each phase have a different purpose and help scientists answer different questions: In Phase I trials, researchers test a new drug or treatment in a small group of people (20-80) for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects. In Phase II trials, the study drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people (100-300) to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety. In Phase III trials, the study drug or treatment is given to large groups of people (1,000-3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it with commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely. In Phase IV trials, post-marketing studies delineate additional information including the drug's risks, benefits, and optimal use.
Conduits is supported by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health through Grant Number UL1TR000067.
Any use of CTSA-supported resources requires citation of grant #UL1TR000067 awarded to Icahn School of Medicine in the acknowledgment section of every publication resulting from this support. Adherence to the NIH Public Access Policy is also required.